Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protect employees suffering from certain qualified physical and mental disabilities. FEHA in general is more broadly written than ADA and therefore offers more protection to employees who have been a victim of disability discrimination in the workplace.

Are you a Qualified Individual with a Disability?

In California, an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of an employee’s physical or mental disability or their medical or genetic condition. To be considered a qualified individual with a disability under the law, the employee must be able to perform the essential functions of their job.  

The Employee’s Right to Reasonable Accommodation

In California, qualified disabled employees have the right to be provided reasonable accommodations by their employer.  It is important to note the employer does not have to offer such accommodation if such accommodation would create an undue hardship to the employer’s operations (i.e. it would be significantly difficult or expensive).

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations

  • Reduction of workload
  • Granting time off or leave of absence requests
  • Large computer screens for employees who suffer from vision impairment
  • Ramps for wheelchair access

The Employee Must Ask for Reasonable Accommodation

To be provided reasonable accommodations, the employee must submit a request for the accommodation to his/her employer.

Examples of Disability Discrimination:

  • You are fired because of your disability
  • You are not hired because of your disability
  • Your employer fails to reasonably accommodate your disability after you submitted your request
  • Your employer retaliates against you for requesting a reasonable accommodation based on your disability
  • Your employer doesn’t promote you because of your disability
  • Your employer reduces your pay because of your disability

Helpful Tip:

Notify Your Employer of Your Disability

Make sure you have told your employer of your disability and any misconduct by others based on your disability. It is important your employer knows of your disability as it will put them on notice of such disability. Such evidence is important for disability discrimination cases.

Document The Behavior

To help prove your case, it is important you document the conduct (i.e offensive emails, memos, text messages, etc) and that you follow the reporting system within your company to report the illegal conduct. Of course there will be times when this is not possible, but remember the more evidence you have, the more it will help your case!

Seeking Justice – Your Next Steps

Do you know or think you have been discriminated against based on your disability? Contact Employee Justice Legal Group for a free consultation today!

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